I was working on the main page for the mystic knot and decided that I really needed to have my own illustration of the ru-yi knot (如意, rúyì, halfway between a 장고매듭, jang-go-mae-deup, and a 가지방석매듭, ga-ji-bang-seong-mae-deup).
Xmas 2009 White and Red So, about halfway through, I ran out of the copper wire I was using. I could have gotten more, but I had a spool in the same gauge of magnet wire, which also happened to be reddish. Reddish, festive and xmas-y, although it wouldn't go very well with the green and purple I was using before, so I changed the base cord colour to white. I was going to use some pink too, but forgot as I got into the flow of construction. The final knot including the hanging thread is in the picture to the left, and to the right is the knot in it's gift packaging (little organza bags from eBay).
Xmas 2009 Green and Purple As usual around the winter festive season I start thinking of stars and snowflakes. I had an 8 pointed star/flower in mind that I had prototyped last year, but as I developed the idea (add more bling/zing), it had less of a star aspect to it. I still think it's quite ornamental though, and simple enough to put into production considering a late-ish start (teacher gifts for 3 kids including a whole host of extracurricular activities, even missing some that finish in early-mid December still leaves 12-14 teachers/coaches).
Happy 2010, brought to you by the letter 'K' I meant to start last year with this series of knots, but I lost them in the fall move. Being one of those people, I stewed and searched instead of just retying them until late 2009. Of course, when I had retied 1.5 letters I then found the originals. Like wearing a rain coat to ensure that it won't rain that day, I should have started retying sooner. 8)
In any case, we start with a 'K'. Clever people like you can probably guess why, but if not, all will be revealed shortly. The 'K' is tied with a series of square flower knots with a hexagonal flower knot in the middle. I initially thought I might need to tie a heptagonal or octagonal flower for the centre to get the branches of the letter at the correct angle, but a test with a hexagonal centre proved to be close enough to perfect for the job.
When Wire Almost Behaves Like Fibre So, I had this scrap of wire in my wire working box (cutters, pliers, cup burs, etc) and it was... 20cm long or so. What had I originally cut it for? What had I cut it off of? Dunno, but is it long enough to do anything with? Often when I've got some cord scrap in my hands they will do what they so frequently do: flower knots, button knots, double connection, double coin, etc. So, this little bit of wire, could I tie a flower knot in it with some beads? How would it look with such a small gauge of wire?
As a general rule, to a certain extent to duplicate the fibre knots I tie, I try to tie wire knots in higher gauges. Almost cord sized wire (I've got some wire that is close to 3mm in diameter. Expensive though and I'm expecting it to be brutally difficult to work. Someday...) is kind of self-explanatory. Smaller gauges though (I think it's 24ga)... let's see!
The Cherry Blossom Festival is a strange event with no fixed date. It's not even like a solstice or something related to the lunar calendar, it's when the cherry blossoms decide to fall on a given year. Vancouver's Cherry Blossom Festival is officially designated as March 28 - April 24, at least this year (2009), but on my street, the flowers hadn't fallen even by the last day of April. That said, it's entirely possible that the trees I had my eye on weren't cherry trees at all. My grasp of things botanical is fairly weak as befits the owner of a black thumb of death.
Another way to get nice ear loops all the way around your polygonal knot is to tie it button style (knobby thing that you could put through a button hole or button loop formed on top of a short stem). There are more flower-ish buttons to follow, but whether the transformation is extensible to the entire family of flower knots is a matter for further research. Now, the knot here (see left) is tied with some nice ear loops because I could, but in practice you probably want the ears tight against the body of the knot so that they don't catch and the cord doesn't wear out prematurely.
I've included a scan of the back side (see right) so you can clearly see where the ends are.
Consider your standard square flower knot (see right). The structural centre is distinctly square, which is good. But, you say, there are only three ears. You say, a square knot should have four ears. I say, consider the loose ends to be the fourth ear. You, nevertheless, remain dissatisfied. A square has four sides, should not a square flower knot have four ears?